Yogi Berra might have put it this way: “A successful interview is 90 percent listening and 50 percent not blowing it.”

The recipe for success during an interviewing with a digital marketing agency like Web Talent Marketing—or any agency for that matter—is being present in the interview process. Combine that with a healthy a dose of confidence and a resume that says you are willing to work, and things might just go your way.

Your mother would be so proud; she said you’d make a great digital marketer! Now all you’ll need to do is survive the interview. Sure, it can be intimidating, but at least you’ll have your shot to make an impression.

For example, there is a moment in every interview when the tables are turned, and you are asked if you have any questions. We’ve all been told think before you speak, so why is it that so many people blow it at this particular moment?

Believe it or not, there are stupid questions. Here is a sampling of questions prospective employees have actually asked me during their interview process (FYI, you should definitely not ask these during your interview with a digital marketing firm):

  1. What does your company do? Thanks for coming unprepared. If you had the resume or the connections to get here, the least you could do was Google our company. Make sure to review the company website and familiarize yourself with the company’s work, and you won’t have to ask this question.
  2. Would it be a problem if I refused to work with [enter particular client’s name]? Bold, yes. Also … incredibly dim. You may have been smart enough to visit the website list of companies the firm works with, but your question is impertinent, and you proved you’ll be a pain to work with. If you really want to work here, try not to express your unfavorable (or even favorable) opinions about the company’s clients. 
  3. What’s my salary going to be? Bad form. The first interview is about selling your talents and convincing the company you’d be a good fit. Asking about money makes people wonder if you’re really in it for the joy of working in this industry. Everybody wants a paycheck, and everybody wants to be well paid, so just chill. Once (if) you get an offer, that’s the time to discuss compensation, benefits, etc.
  4. When will I get promoted? Ambition is good, but you don’t even work here yet. Instead of giving the impression that you are willing to work hard and pay your dues, you’re telling us you’re a corporate cut-throat whose aim is to rise up the company ladder as quickly and ruthlessly as possible. While I’m secretly impressed by your enthusiasm, I’m also now worried that you’ll try going after my job. Sheesh.
  5. Any question that screams “I’m not listening.” In a recent interview, I explained to an applicant that our staff values the collaborative working experience we foster at Web Talent. So, at the end of the interview, when he asked if he could telecommute, I wondered if he was even paying attention. Losing focus during the interview is a serious gaffe. 

Truth be told, I am of the mind that the fewer the questions an interviewee asks, the better. If given the opportunity to ask questions, think before you speak. It is better to end the interview early than to ask questions that reflect a lack of enthusiasm, inattentiveness, or worse: point out that you came unprepared.

Yet, here is one question the smart interviewee asks. “What would make an ideal candidate for the position?” This allows the interviewer to outline exactly what he or she is looking for in a candidate. If the interviewer mentions something not previously discussed, there is the opening for you to shine.